How to Create a Graphic Design Resume

In this day and age, the likelihood of landing your dream job can depend a lot on your resume. As a graphic designer, you’re supposed to be creative, original and hard-working by default. Not only must your CV list your skills and achievements, but the CV itself should be very well designed with a clear typography. So if you’re going to submit an 8.5 x 11 print-out of an MS Word Doc, you might as well not even apply. However, putting together a killer resume is not as hard as it sounds. These tips can help get you started.

1. Adapt The Resume To Your Needs


Have a basic resume always ready, but make sure you customize it when you’re applying for a job. Keep it brief and — above all — keep it relevant. Ask yourself: Who is their ideal candidate and how can I assume that role? Which skills of mine are best suited for the job? You may be a pro at Adobe After Effects, but if the job calls for photo editing, highlight your skills in relevant software. In other words, maximize your potential of landing the job by focusing on the areas that present you as the perfect candidate.

2. Show Off Your Creativity And Personality


Be unconventional. Make use of blank space. If you’re sending a physical resume as opposed to a soft copy, use high quality paper. Be innovative in terms of packaging. Do you want it folded? Do you want it as a brochure or a leaflet? If you’re emailing it, consider designing your resume as an infographic. In other words, your future employer should get an idea about your superb skills and the kind of person you are, even before glancing at your portfolio.

3. Tick Off These Boxes

Don’t forget to include the standard stuff, and make it very very clear and easy to find. This includes your name and contact info, past job and internship experience, software skills, awards, education, capabilities and interests. You may also include a personal statement. And while you’re at it, pay attention to the typography. Good typography is essential. It is the first thing a potential employer will look at. If the type is very good, they will most likely want to meet you. If the type is weak, even if you are qualified, they will not want to meet you.

4. Don’t Lie/Plagiarize/Forget To Spell-Check

Even if you feel you’re under-qualified, don’t lie or copy someone else’s design template. Plagiarism is unacceptable, and many employers have methods of checking out your claims and credentials to make sure you are original, and if you lie or bluff through your achievements, remember they may check references or ask you to demonstrate something that you lied about doing. Don’t ever compromise on your personal integrity. And yes, even if your English skills aren’t up to the par with your design skills, try not to give that impression. Ask a friend or co-worker to proofread your CV before handing it in. An unintended spelling error may earn you a thumbs down from the company.

Above all, continue to work on your resume. Remember, you are always evolving, both as a designer and as a human being. Your resume should reflect that, albeit in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. Good luck!

Interested in learning more about pursuing graphic design? Visit NYFA’s Graphic Design School today.

Why Typography Matters

As social animals, we humans have been using writing as one of the most fundamental forms of communication since our ancient ancestors. From those cave walls to the infinite pages of the Interwebs, typography has sure come a long way. Dating back to the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg first developed moveable type and the printing press, making way for more decorative and practical typefaces and ordered page layouts, it was evident the world of words would forever be changed. By the Industrial Revolution, typography became all about the masses; typefaces became larger, catchier, and bolder to be used in signs, newspapers, and advertisements.

But in the current day where typography is used in almost every form of advertising and design, where it’s become so developed that it’s a full-time job for many designers and a stand-alone course at several universities, it’s virtually impossible for contemporary designers to keep up with each and every typeface that exists. And there are still new and original typefaces being created every day. But even with the prevalence of the discourse in our vastly digital landscape, designers who are well-versed on the matter are still quizzed on what typography actually entails by potential employers and more often than not, there are those who want to learn graphic design but neglect the importance of the topic in their work. So here are a few things every designer should know to ensure they’re prepared when discussing fonts with their clients (or critical naysayers) during the creative process

It’s All In The Eyes

The science behind the powerful connection between our visuals and our brain isn’t something that’s been newly discovered with modern technology but the possibilities of visual affect in advertising has grown ten-fold in the last few decades with digital technology. Just as psychological studies confirm the correlation between colors and emotional responses, thus it being a huge determinant in how a brand is viewed, the style in which words and letters are formed works in the same way. Just ask Gary Hustwit—the filmmaker behind Helvetica (2007), a documentary about typography, design and global visual culture. “Helvetica. It’s everywhere: this typeface spells out tax forms, labels, street signs and company logos,” he says.

Typography is the vehicle through which things like tone of voice, gender, age, or emotion can be communicated, thus certain typefaces have their own personalities and are used to relay particular ideas. Additionally, according to a study on typography by Dr. Kevin Larson and Dr. Rosalind W. Picard at MIT, even very subtle changes in typography, like small caps, ligatures, kerning or old style figures are shown to measurably affect the way people react to a document.

Most Effective Typography

In a study conducted by Michael Bernard at Usability News, the most preferred typefaces for people were Verdana, Comic Sans, and Arial whilst the most legible font at size 12 was Courier and Arial at size 14. Another noteworthy experiment conducted by Errol Morris presented the same passage to 40,000 readers in six different typefaces. Readers who were exposed to Baskerville were more likely to agree with the passage, particularly when compared with Helvetica and Comic Sans.

Know The Basics

  • Serif – This is the slight projection at the tip of a letter stroke that’s commonly at the bottom of the letter—sort of like “little feet.” This gives the eyes an easy transition or flowing motion through sentences.
  • Sans Serif – The opposite of Serif, this font has no “feet” and is often seen as trendy, modern and streamlined but tends to be harder to read in smaller font sizes.
  • Typefaces – Probably the most straightforward part of typography, it simply refers to the name of the style of text used. So basically like Arial, Georgia, or Chalkduster.
  • Fonts – Although it’s frequently synonymous with the word “typeface” in the digital age, this technically refers to both a particular style of typeface and the decided width and height of that typeface. For instance, Cambria is a typeface, but the font would be Cambria, size 14, Italic.
  • Tracking – This refers to the spacing between characters within a text, otherwise known as “letter spacing,” and is pretty standard. However, you can adjust it to affect text density.
  • Kerning – Similar to tracking, but instead of the general spacing between characters, this refers to the white space between specific, individual letters and characters that may clash depending on the font design.
  • Leading – This measures the space between where the letters sit i.e. the distance between a line of text and the line directly above and below it.
Master the art of graphic design at NYFA’s Graphic Design programs, which you can learn more about by clicking here.